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What do you guys think of Dreams of the First Age?

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  • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
    Also, funfact: I pitched for a writing job on Dreams of the First Age not because I thought I had any good ideas, or even because I was excited by the prospect of working on it, but because back then I was still committed to collecting every Exalted book and thought it'd be easier to get ahold of this one if I wrote for it and got a comp copy than if I had to buy it.
    This is the only just and true reason to write.

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    • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
      In retrospect none of this was a good idea because . . . I'm not Jewish so doing anything with any variation of I AM THAT I AM is probably insensitive. Especially writing Him as a cross between the Internet and Gamera. . . .

      I hope this post helps to contextualize my previous comment, "Hoo boy, am I conflicted."
      It was insensitive to Christians too, but speaking as one I still thought it was a decent what-if and very much in line with Aquinas' ideas on why the Greek works were worth studying by people who didn't share the faith. It chapped me briefly, but I realized the problem was in my reaction not being very Grace-filled (like, same day realization). (Put another way, something can be insensitive without being offensive if the audience is willing to listen.)

      So... keep being conflicted, in the best possible way I guess?

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      • Oh right something else that really disappointing about Dreams of the First Age.

        Compass: Scavenger Lands made Shield of a Different Day the goddess of a lost concept of 'peaceful warfare' its glaringly absent given how much this setting seems to be about how First Age Solars keep score among themselves without ending up with a repeat of the Thousand Struggles Era.



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        • One thing talked about on RPG.net was about how in some respects the "Dreams" of the first age fell sort of flat for us, because many of the attributes would have been familiar to anyone living in a modern nation. (Vacations, abundant food, medical care, etc. ). Someone, I forget who, mentioned that it sounded like, absent the presence of the supernatural, a bit like living in Western Europe.

          And I think one of the issues is the dissonance between us-as-people and characters in the setting.

          Because for any character, in the "present" era of Exalted, that very much would have been a dream, hard infact for them to even conceive of. But again, for us, typing on a computer in our air-conditioned room, it was a bit more familiar.


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          • Originally posted by NewK View Post
            One thing talked about on RPG.net was about how in some respects the "Dreams" of the first age fell sort of flat for us, because many of the attributes would have been familiar to anyone living in a modern nation. (Vacations, abundant food, medical care, etc. ). Someone, I forget who, mentioned that it sounded like, absent the presence of the supernatural, a bit like living in Western Europe.

            And I think one of the issues is the dissonance between us-as-people and characters in the setting.

            Because for any character, in the "present" era of Exalted, that very much would have been a dream, hard infact for them to even conceive of. But again, for us, typing on a computer in our air-conditioned room, it was a bit more familiar.

            That’s exactly what I liked about it. The contrast between the First and Second Ages. And I guess the Shogunate (which always makes me think of Kamakura Era Japan, like in the Tale of the Heike). (I took a class on Japanese history in school.)


            The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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            • Originally posted by Penelope View Post

              That’s exactly what I liked about it. The contrast between the First and Second Ages. And I guess the Shogunate (which always makes me think of Kamakura Era Japan, like in the Tale of the Heike). (I took a class on Japanese history in school.)
              I think though it plays a bit on what SLS noted. There's an expectation of waht the FA is, it was actually basiclaly early 21st Century Earth running on Makotech, and while that's a nice subversion in a literay sense, it is not very engaging or interesting in a context of Exalted and actively feels like it's trying to deconstruct for its own sake rather than provide something to stimulate an intersting game.

              Like, for me at lest, on the timeline I thought the Ochre Fountian was striclty more interesting a time period than anything invovling the hgihg First Age, and that's simply due to how broad it felt and not settled into a routine it seemed like then, as well as having at least a lot more "new to the world" like broken Dragon Kings, still Jadeborn and Autochthon around and no one world government.


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              • Considering how utterly differently the history of the Exalted setting must be from our world, it feels pretty egocentric to write it so that a world that looks like ours is what happens when you have a bunch of awesome people steering the development of human civilization.

                ​I can't find the posts now, but I liked some of the speculation Isator Levi did about the First Age.

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                • Originally posted by Blaque View Post

                  I think though it plays a bit on what SLS noted. There's an expectation of waht the FA is, it was actually basiclaly early 21st Century Earth running on Makotech, and while that's a nice subversion in a literay sense, it is not very engaging or interesting in a context of Exalted and actively feels like it's trying to deconstruct for its own sake rather than provide something to stimulate an intersting game.

                  Like, for me at lest, on the timeline I thought the Ochre Fountian was striclty more interesting a time period than anything invovling the hgihg First Age, and that's simply due to how broad it felt and not settled into a routine it seemed like then, as well as having at least a lot more "new to the world" like broken Dragon Kings, still Jadeborn and Autochthon around and no one world government.
                  What did you think of the Modern Age shard from Shards of the Exalted Dream? I liked it.


                  The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                  • Originally posted by Penelope View Post

                    What did you think of the Modern Age shard from Shards of the Exalted Dream? I liked it.
                    It's alright but probably in the mush of "Not Heaven's Reach" for me, so there's that. And noteably even though it's neat, it's not the defnitive history of the world. It is like what was stated earlier. Dreams would have made for a pretty good shard. As the default-assumed actual history of the setting, it has a lot of issues, though.


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                    • NewK, subjectively I have the impression that in the noughts, at the time, there was a lot of zeigeisty enthusiasm on Rpg.net for settings which talked about how the inevitable consequences of frequent, available, accessible, reliable magic were some form of modernization or even "more advanced than modern" society (up to and including "magical singularity").

                      (Which idea Exalted perhaps was influential on, as I do think it was deeply influential on RPG settings in the noughts!).

                      I think this has sort of started to wane a bit by the time DotFA came out, unfortunately for it, so that it was doing something which became out of fashion. I can't really speculate as to why this is; it could be because of a resurgence of enthusiasm for old fashioned fantasy settings with lots of magic which were not modern or "advanced" or because of some changing emphasis on importance of political structures to modern society above technology and growth (perhaps a move in the wrong direction I would hazard a guess). There are still some settings working in this space of "Magic -> Advanced Society" like Colin Fredericks's "Sorcerously Advanced" though. I do think stuff like "Sorcerously Advanced" (which is pretty cool) benefits from not having to serve as frame narrative for something else, as the First Age must. (RPG.net itself of course has been through many permutations of what is fashionable to talk about since DotFA!)

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                      • Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                        NewK, subjectively I have the impression that in the noughts, at the time, there was a lot of zeigeisty enthusiasm on Rpg.net for settings which talked about how the inevitable consequences of frequent, available, accessible, reliable magic were some form of modernization or even "more advanced than modern" society (up to and including "magical singularity").

                        (Which idea Exalted perhaps was influential on, as I do think it was deeply influential on RPG settings in the noughts!).

                        I think this has sort of started to wane a bit by the time DotFA came out, unfortunately for it, so that it was doing something which became out of fashion. I can't really speculate as to why this is; it could be because of a resurgence of enthusiasm for old fashioned fantasy settings with lots of magic which were not modern or "advanced" or because of some changing emphasis on importance of political structures to modern society above technology and growth (perhaps a move in the wrong direction I would hazard a guess). There are still some settings working in this space of "Magic -> Advanced Society" like Colin Fredericks's "Sorcerously Advanced" though. I do think stuff like "Sorcerously Advanced" (which is pretty cool) benefits from not having to serve as frame narrative for something else, as the First Age must. (RPG.net itself of course has been through many permutations of what is fashionable to talk about since DotFA!)

                        That was the Tippyverse era wasn't it?

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                        • Originally posted by NewK View Post
                          many of the attributes would have been familiar to anyone living in a modern nation. (Vacations, abundant food, medical care, etc. ).
                          When you say familiar do you mean personal experience or awareness of it as a thing?


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                          • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                            When you say familiar do you mean personal experience or awareness of it as a thing?

                            I think that the personal experience thing is irrelevant because he's describing the (ideal) functioning of a social model which is in place in Western Europe.
                            Last edited by Chausse; 09-11-2020, 05:04 AM.


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                            • Originally posted by Penelope View Post

                              What did you think of the Modern Age shard from Shards of the Exalted Dream? I liked it.
                              Shards made me appreciate how badly DotFA utilised the space that it had available to it. Like there's huge holes in what we know about the 3 settings due to word count limitations but Dreams doesn't really have anymore depth for having two books.


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                              • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                                Shards made me appreciate how badly DotFA utilised the space that it had available to it. Like there's huge holes in what we know about the 3 settings due to word count limitations but Dreams doesn't really have anymore depth for having two books.

                                If it was possible to bind and loose and go back and have it redone, I'd just tell them: Cut out the stat blocks of the NPCs, save maybe for a few biggies, like what their finishing move is, and maybe what tehy're supposedly really good at, because most of th eNPCs as I remember were pretty much: "Every printed charm: yes."

                                And I think that was another problem--Exalted is fluffed as "Waht would you do with the power of a demigod" and unfortunately, DOFTA, even if you took the semi-experienced exalt option, often boiled that down to: Do whatever your far more awesome elders told you to.

                                It's funny, but I think one thing that would drastically help DOFTA is the current dynamic in 3E, where Essence 6 plus may get you some weird and useful charms, but nothing really more powerful, not drastically so, than what anyone can get at essence 5. It would have allowed the setting to show how "quirky" exalts could get, via the special charms they'd developed, while avoiding the problem of "wow, these guys can curbstomp us by rolling over in their sleep."

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